Monday, August 29, 2022

While Prince Rupert awaits the rains, Haida Gwaii ponders the drought

The trail of precipitation seen from the latest satellite imagery
from Environment Canada is bringing some heavy rain to
Prince Rupert but won't be of much help in addressing a
drought on Haida Gwaii
(image from Environment Canada)

It's a curious situation to give some thought towards today as Prince Rupert residents and those along the North Coast await what could be some extensive rain, that of the start of the fall storm season a bit early for us.

Up to 100 mm of rain could arrive in Prince Rupert in the next
24 hours, something they could use on Haida Gwaii

All of that, while across Hecate Strait, residents of Haida Gwaii are dealing with a drought.

Not something that you might normally associate with the North Coast and the Islands what with our placement along a frequent track of potential rain from both the south and the north.

However, for Haida Gwaii that's the situation at the moment, with the Province of British Columbia outlining the severity of the situation on Friday.

Dry and hot conditions on British Columbia’s west coast have prompted the government to increase the drought level in the region to Level 3. The areas that have risen to Drought Level 3 conditions are eastern Vancouver Island, western Vancouver Island and Haida Gwaii. 

The high temperatures, consistent sunshine and lack of recent rain have increased water temperatures in numerous Vancouver Island and Haida Gwaii streams.

The full scope of what is taking place can be reviewed here.

The measures to address the drought situation explained below:

People in affected areas are asked to reduce their water use wherever possible and observe all watering restrictions from local and regional governments, water utility providers or irrigation districts. In areas where voluntary water reduction has already been implemented, it has helped to slow down the intensification of drought conditions and the need for regulatory action. 

If conservation measures do not achieve sufficient results and drought conditions worsen, regulatory action may be taken under the Water Sustainability Act, such as temporary protection orders issued to water licensees to avoid significant or irreversible harm to aquatic ecosystems. Provincial staff are monitoring the situation and working to balance water use with environmental flow needs.

The current weather system making its way to the North Coast seemingly will only skirt Haida Gwaii this time around.

So while we may bemoan a bit the end of what has been a fairly fine August for the North Coast, not too far to the west, they may be ready to welcome the Fall Storm Season and the volume of precipitation that could go with it.

You can get updates on the current Rainfall warning for the North Coast from Environment Canada

More notes on weather across the Northwest and on Haida Gwaai can be reviewed from our archive page.

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